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For Director-At-Large: Barbara A. Sawrey

September 7, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 36

San Diego Section. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.

Academic record: Baldwin-Wallace College, B.S., 1973; San Diego State University, M.A., 1982; University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University, jointly, Ph.D., 1983

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2011; Athena of San Diego, Pinnacle Award for an Individual in Education, 2011; University of California, San Diego, Partner in International Education Award, 2010; University of California, San Diego, Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, 2004; ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, 2002; Outstanding Service Award, ACS San Diego Section, 2001; Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, San Diego, 1997; Golden Key Honor Society; Sigma Xi; Iota Sigma Pi

Professional positions (for past 10 years): University of California, San Diego, dean of undergraduate education, 2012– , Academic Affairs, associate vice chancellor, 2007– , department of chemistry and biochemistry, Distinguished Teaching Professor, 2013– , vice chair for education, 1994–2007, faculty member, 1984– ; University of California, San Diego, Revelle College, acting provost, 2001–02

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, director-at-large, 2012–14; Board Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, 2012– ; Board Committee on Professional & Member Relations, 2013–14, chair, 2014; Board Committee on Grants & Awards, 2012; Committee on Professional Training, 2009–11; Committee on Nominations & Elections, 2004–08, chair, 2006–08; Council Policy Committee (nonvoting), 2006–08, 2001–03; Committee on Committees, 1998–2003, chair, 2001–03, secretary, 1999–2000; Committee on Meetings & Expositions, 1994–97, committee associate, 1991–93; Society Committee on Education, committee associate, 1992

Service in ACS offices: Advisory Board, ACS Office of Professional Education, chair, 2010–14. San Diego Section: councilor, 1990–2012; alternate councilor, 1987–89; Outstanding Scientist Award Committee, 1996– ; Education Committee, chair, 1982–88. Division of Chemical Education: Board of Publications, Journal of Chemical Education, 2003–12; Chemical Education Research Committee, 1997–99; General Chemistry Examining Committee, 1989–97; Long-Range Planning Committee, 1987–93, chair, 1989–91; Program Committee, 1991–94; ACS spring national meeting, program chair, 1994

Member: Member of ACS since 1975. Iota Sigma Pi. ACS Divisions: Chemical Education, Inorganic Chemistry

Related activities: Gemological Institute of America, Board of Governors, 2013– ; National Conflict Resolution Center, board of directors, 2013– ; San Diego Foundation, Board of Governors, 2008– ; Science & Technology Working Group, chair, 2006–11; ACS Leadership Development System, Facilitator of Extraordinary Leaders Course, 2007– ; 5th Gordon Research Conference on Innovations in College Chemistry Teaching, chair, 1999; 4th Gordon Research Conference on Innovations in College Chemistry Teaching, vice chair, 1997; U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Mentor Search Committee, 1996–2012; International Chemistry Olympiad Scientific Board, vice chair, 1992; U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad, mentor, 1987–89


Watch For Your Ballot

All voting members of ACS will receive ballots enabling them to vote for president-elect. Only members with mailing addresses in Districts III and VI will receive ballots to vote for director from those districts. Only voting councilors will receive ballots for the director-at-large elections.

All ballots will be mailed on Oct. 3. The deadline for voting or return of marked ballots, which may be done online or by paper ballot, respectively, is close of business on Nov. 14.

It is an honor to be considered for a second term as a member of the ACS Board of Directors. This is an especially critical time for the society: The board will be selecting the next executive director and chief executive officer and then forging a strong working relationship with that successful candidate. It has been my privilege to serve as one of your directors-at-large for the past three years, working with Madeleine Jacobs. We owe Madeleine a great deal for her outstanding leadership.

Finding Madeleine’s successor is the most important immediate task for the board, but there are many other continuing challenges faced by the society—maintaining the health of our publications and Chemical Abstracts Service enterprises in rapidly changing global environments, declining federal investment in R&D, ongoing employment concerns, and a decline in full-dues-paying members (albeit with the happy offset of increasing student membership).

All of these challenges are reflections of complex national and international trends that require board attention. The ACS Board Standing Committee on Planning, of which I am a member, regularly scans the near-, mid-, and long-range horizon to track the forces that affect chemists, the chemical sciences, and the society. We must remain alert and as nimble as possible in order to adjust to pressures and opportunities. Input from this committee is critical to ongoing discussions and strategic planning.

Your current board has been a hardworking, collegial body. We do not always see eye to eye with one another, but we can have vigorous yet respectful discussions and arrive at a majority (if not consensus) stance. My fellow board members are a wonderful group of people with widely varied experiences and views, and I have appreciated their thoughtful opinions and wise counsel, as well as their openness to other perspectives. I am proud of our recent work together, particularly the authorization of the new American Association of Chemistry Teachers.

What do I bring to this mix? I think of myself as having strengths in a couple of important areas that serve the board and the society.

I am a listener and learner. I believe I know a lot about the society after 39 years of membership, most of them active in ­local sections and national service. But I try not to make up my mind on an issue before hearing all sides first, recognizing that any one person has limited knowledge and ­experience.

I am a seasoned facilitator. I have a lot of experience leading committees and work groups and getting work accomplished. This has been true in my local and national ACS roles and in my professional academic work. My time spent as a faculty member and dean, my time spent as an ACS committee member and chair, and my time as a workshop leader for our excellent Leadership Development System have taught me a great deal about working with people, helping to find a constructive way forward.

I do my homework, and I ask critical questions. I don’t have to be the first or most forceful person to speak up at meetings in order to contribute, but I do make sure to get all the information needed and to voice my opinion once formed. And I do so in a way that allows me to work congenially alongside colleagues with whom I may disagree.

As I wrote in my statement three years ago when I first ran for the board, we must remember that ACS serves both our chemical sciences profession as well as its individual members. There is always a balance to be struck while striving to attain our four strategic planning goals: to provide information, advance member careers, improve education, and communicate chemistry’s value. The board constantly considers how best we can serve as responsible stewards of ACS funds and provide meaningful benefits to the full array of members.

I am proud to be a chemist and to have had the opportunity to serve ACS as a board member. If reelected by my fellow councilors, I vow to continue my commitment to you and to the society.

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